I had a migraine coming on and the constant ringing of the phone wasn't making it any better. The calls had been nonstop. Everyone wanted a comment on the mess that girl had created. Logan's name was being ripped to pieces and he was dragging the rest of us down with him. That boy and I were going to need to talk soon. I had a feeling he was still trying to see that Mars girl and I was not about to stand by and let him further tarnish our family name.
"Lynn." I called out, already knowing where to find her. Sure enough the moment I stepped into the room she flashed me a fake smile and closed a briefase. "Something you don't want me to see?" I asked, as I waved the latest newpapers in my fist. "One guess whose picture is plastered all over the front page?"
This was her fault. She was constantly coddling the boy and indulging him to the point where he had no self control. She had probably found a way to absolve him of any responsibility in this mess, but I wasn't going to tolerate it. He'd gone too far this time with his antics and now we were going to clean up the mess.
I poured myself a drink and dropped the papers in front of her. This was going to take a lot of spin control and I honestly had no idea where to even start the clean up process. A big charity event was in order, that was clear, but I had a feeling that wouldn't be enough to make this go away.
I glanced up in alarm as Aaron walked in -- I'd been expecting him, but he always managed to make an entrance. He "exuded charisma," according to People, he was "a magnetic force," via Frank Rich. Lately, I thought that "bastard" described him best, along with a few other choice four letter words that wouldn't be repeated in print.
I caught a glimpse of Logan's face on the smudged newsprint, smiling, his school picture poised beside a photograph of Veronica. Both were settled beneath a third photograph, one of Lilly Kane doing a balancing act from the Coronado Bridge. She was a little attention-getter, too. Just like Aaron.
"For God's sake, he kissed Veronica," I snapped, surprised at my own gumption. I raised my drink to my lips again and took a burning swallow. "You were a teenager once, too."
Of course my husband wasn't going to see it this way -- he took everything Logan did as a personal affront, as if Logan wanted to feel his skin splitting beneath Aaron's belts. Beneath Aaron's fists. "If anybody's to blame, it's Lilly." I crossed my legs, settling back into the couch and preparing myself for this argument.
I never liked that girl, anyway. Logan was really better off without her.
Of course Logan was attracted to Lilly, she was just like Lynn. Leave it to a boy to try and replace his mother with his girlfriend. It was a stupid move, breaking that girl's heart, when it was clear Lilly was far from stable.
Lynn didn't like her which amused me. Of course she couldn't see that Lilly was just like her. She was too caught up in the image she spun for the papers to take a real look at what she was. An attention whore with a bitch complex. I guess my boy was more like me than I realized, at least when it came to his taste in women.
"Yes, I was a teenager once, but I never drove my girlfriend to pull a stunt like this. What if it wasn't just a stunt, Lynn? What if that girl really is that unstable? Do you really believe she won't try to kill herself again? We don't need this kind of press."
I paced the length of the room and finished my drink. I needed a plan, but I wasn't sure how to go about putting one into motion. "I told you we should have sent him off to boarding school, but no you wanted him here so you could coddle him. Well, good work, because now he has managed to not only wreck his lives, but tarnish our names too."
I locked eyes with my husband angrily, trying to convey all of the loathing in my heart with a glance. Of course he'd never pulled a stunt like this as a teenager -- his father was a farmer from Minnesota, and Aaron hadn't yet discovered the merits of plastic surgery. I'd never known the man that Aaron had been before he was a star, and it didn't matter.
"Because you're perfect," I spat, heart beating staccato in my chest. "With your women and your bad movies and the airbrushed photos of the perfect family in the Caribbean." I managed, somehow, to keep my voice steady as he glared daggers at me.
I'd been standing idly by for Aaron for far too long, the trophy wife pouring peroxide on my son's lashed skin and making three a.m. visits to the emergency room when Logan stumbled in from Tijuana. I was sick of it, so fucking sick of it.
"You're right. I should have let you send him to boarding school. I should have protected him from you."
Forget our names, and their tarnish. We'd survive, and Logan would be eighteen soon.
But not soon enough.
"That's right, Lynn, my life is fucking perfect." I snapped, returning her glare with one that matched it. I was so sick of being trapped in this illusion. There was nothing I wanted more than to pack my things and get as far away from my family as I could. My kids were ungrateful and my wife was a baracuda.
"My bad movies pay for the life you have grown accustomed. Just like those airbrushed photos ensure you keep your invitations to the country clubs and everything else you do to spend my money."
Protect Logan from me? Who was going to protect us from Logan? The boy had been a mistake from day one and I was growing more irritated with his presence as well as Lynn's with each passing day. I told her we didn't need more kids. I already had Trina and she wasn't even planned. Of course, the family image helped with my fans, but the women would have still bought my tickets if they believed I was married and unable to have children with my wife.
"Protect him. You've never protected anyone but yourself. Face it, you're as much as selfish bitch as I am an arrogant bastard. We are a match made in hell and Logan is our hell spawn. Get him under control, Lynn, or I will."
I listened to his words, raining like a thunderstorm and drenching me with their impact. Never in my life had I met a man as cold as my husband -- had he always been this way? Had I ignored this part of his personality and focused on everything else? Once upon a time he'd doted on me and almost allowed me to believe that he loved Logan, too. Our son. Our child.
Now I simply wondered if he'd always been a monster.
His films did pay for the house, and the help, and everything else, but leaving him wouldn't exactly impoverish me. Of course, I knew that he'd never allow me to leave. I could fight him forever, but I'd never get away. Logan still had a chance, though.
"He is your son," I said flatly, looking up into his cold, lined, face. "I'm not a good mother, but I love him. How can you not?"
I pursed my lips and looked away from Aaron, toward the painting of the three of us that hung opposite the mantle. "How do you expect to control him? Your methods, until now, haven't been overwhelmingly successful."
She had a point. Logan didn't listen to me. No matter how hard I pushed him, he always pushed back twice as hard. He was like me in that retrospect and perhaps that was why he got under my skin. I just wanted good things for him. I wanted him to stop wasting his life away. Was that too much to ask?
"I'll handle it." I said, and didn't bother to elaborate. Perhaps I could talk to Lilly and convince her to give Logan another chance. Cut that Veronica girl out of the picture and control the boy through the Kane girl. It was a gamble, but what did I have to lose at this point?
How could I not love him? I stared at her for a second. Did she really believe I was incapable of not loving my children?
"I may not like him very much, but I love my son. I love you all and no matter how much I give to you, it's never enough. I'm tired, Lynn."
He was going to handle it. His words chilled me to the bone and filled me with relief simultaneously, but the look in his eyes suggested that he was at least considering my point. Perhaps my words on Logan’s behalf had been a long time coming, but I had my reasons -- our emergency room visit had been explained away by a Mercedes, an oak tree, a sudden swerve to avoid a squirrel, and a patch of water on the road.
“Fine,” I answered coolly, setting the tumbler of alcohol back down atop a coaster on the coffee table. It was still half-full, and I longed for another swallow, but it occurred to me that a clear head would probably be best. Perhaps Aaron would cease driving me to it - though blaming him for my problems didn’t exactly make them easier to bear.
“You have no idea what it’s like,” I added, standing up to look at him. He didn’t. He had no idea. The perverse pleasure that he took in causing Logan pain sickened me, had hardened me - Logan was my son. “He doesn’t hate you, yet. But he will.”
I turned on my heel and began to walk out of the room, briefcase forgotten on the sofa. Aaron was an actor, and I’d do well not to forget it.
Of course she ran the moment I tried to open up to her. That was the way things always went. If I shut her out then she had something to bitch and moan about as she downed her liquor and doctor prescribed medications. If I reached out to her then she ran away because that meant she had to really be a part of this marriage and that was just too much responsibility for Lynn.
I rubbed my temple as she talked about how I didn't understand what it was like and that my son would soon hate me. Well of course he was. It was a family tradition and I waited every day for my son to turn and look at me the way I looked at my father. She was the one who didn't understand what it was like.
"Go ahead and run away, Lynn." I called out to her in a cold voice. "One day when you turn to come back, there will be nothing left for you here. I'm growing sick and tired of the same routine."
I needed a change of scenery or something new to focus on. This house was sucking my will to live out of me and I'd be damned if I would make my family happy by taking myself out. Fuck that. I could hang on just as long as they could.
Locals looking for you Go Here dld.bz/chwZG